I have something of a love affair with macarons, they epitomise everything I love about baking, small, neat & elegant, the perfect size for a small indulgent treat and just the right level of complexity to show you've gone the extra mile to tell someone you love them with a home baked gift.
Teamed with Cat's downloadable DIY sleeve template these little macarons make the perfect gift for Mother’s day.
So here follows my recipe, I use a French macaron base which is slightly lower risk in comparison to the Italian version (Which involves boiling hot sugar!) This method always works for me, however they can be tricky so do check out my top tips to help you nail those macs!
Download our Free Mother’s day Sleeve Template Here
You Will Need
Free Mother’s day Sleeve Template
110g Icing Sugar
85g Ground Almonds
2 Large Egg Whites (around 80g of white)
100g Caster Sugar
This recipe makes 20-22 macarons
How to Make
1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/135°C fan assisted/Gas mark 2
2. Weigh together the almonds and icing sugar, place them into a food processor and blitz for a minute or two to blend the two ingredients together and also break down any large lumps of almonds. Sift the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large mixing bowl, discard any pieces of almond that are too large to go through a sieve to ensure you have a smooth mixture.
3. Whisk the egg whites along with a pinch of salt until light and fluffy, then add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time and bring the whites up to stiff peak, and when I say stiff, I’m talking hold the bowl over your head stiff. This may take around 5 minutes.
4. Add any colouring at this stage, very gently fold this into the egg whites being cautious not to nock any air out of the whipped whites. Aim for a shade darker than you'd like the finished macarons to be as the colour will fade a little with the addition of the almonds, baking will also dull the colour a little also.
5. Next, fold the almonds and icing sugar into the whites. Getting the right texture here is crucial, the batter must be a shiny, silky smooth consistency that will find its’ own level when piped. So it shouldn't be too runny and it mustn't be too firm. Use a spatula to fold the almond mix into the whites in two halves, fold in the first half to lighten the mix and then add the second. Fold carefully and thoroughly, being sure to incorporate the mixture at the base of the bowl. Keep working the mix until it flows from the spatula. Essentially this is deflating the egg white to create a smooth pipe-able consistency. I test for this by gently tapping the mixing bowl on the worktop, any trails left in the batter should disappear and the mix should find its’ own level.
6. Transfer the mix to a piping bag and pipe even circles around an inch in diameter onto a baking tray lined with silicone paper. Hold the piping bag between thumb and index finger and hold at a 90° angle to the baking sheet for the most even results.
7. Once piped lift the tray up and drop it onto the work surface, this will encourage any air bubbles in the mix to rise to the surface, repeat this 5 times. Allow the macrons to sit for 30 minutes to skin over. This stage allows the macarons to dry out a little and ensures a better rise during baking.
8. Place the macarons into the pre-heated oven 1 tray at a time. All ovens have hot spots so the positioning of the tray in the oven can affect the finished result of the macarons. For me the second shelf up from the bottom gives me the best bake. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until firm to the touch and matte in colour.
9. Allow the macarons to cool before gently lifting from the parchment. The macarons can be filled with a filling of your choice and assembled. Some of my favourites are Nutella, lemon curd or raspberry jam. Go for something firm that isn't likely to flow out of the macarons. Use a piping bag to apply the filling and gently sandwich together.
10. Once you’re macarons are ready, print and cut out the free template. Score and fold where shown on your printable and adhere the sides together with Dovecraft Perma Fix tape. Now you can place your macarons in this adorable little sleeve, ready to give to your mum for Mother’s day!
All ovens behave differently; the above baking temperatures are guideline, low and slow works best. You may need to experiment in finding the best temperature for your oven. If the macarons are turning brown or cracking, try a lover oven temperature. If the macarons are still sticky after 15 minutes or the top is separating from the base when you try to lift them from the baking tray try a hotter oven on your next attempt.
Use gel or powdered colours rather than liquid for best intensity of colour. Oil colours are a no go also, as the oil will fight with the protein in your egg white which can affect the rise of the macarons.
I use a silicone baking mat to ensure even and consistent sizing, you can DIY this by drawing round a 2 pence piece directly onto silicone paper to give you a size guide to pipe onto, be sure to turn the paper over and pipe on the reverse.
However, there are always small size inconsistencies so match the caps together before assembling to ensure uniformity.
Macarons soften on sitting so are generally improved by resting for 24 hours before eating. Store them in the fridge, in an airtight container. They will last for a week or so.
We would love to see your yummy macarons in their crafty sleeve so make sure to upload them to the inspiration area and to #trimcraft when sharing on social media.